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A man wears a face mask as he exercises with free weights at Bologna's Lodi Gym in Italy on May 25.

Working out at home won’t replace going to gym

A man wears a face mask as he exercises with free weights at Bologna's Lodi Gym in Italy on May 25.

Home workouts may have become a lockdown staple, but Barclays Plc analysts say gym-goers won’t be ditching their memberships anytime soon.

A Workout Anytime gym club in Levittown, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Yelp)

A survey of UK consumers found that only 14 per cent of gym members planned to cancel their contracts, despite 35 per cent of them changing their attitude to home exercising amid the outbreak, the bank said in a note to clients Tuesday.

It reinstated its overweight rating on London-listed The Gym Group Plc and reiterated the same recommendation for Dutch-traded Basic-Fit NV. The stocks have slumped about 37 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively, in 2020, as the pandemic shuttered venues.

“We found the results reassuring for the future of the gym industry after the pandemic, given that the survey was conducted at a time of peak of COVID-19 anxiety,” analysts including James Rowland Clark wrote.

The Netherlands is due to reopen gyms on July 1, two months earlier than initially planned. The UK government is also discussing plans to reopen venues next month, The Guardian newspaper reported in May.

The survey, undertaken via research group YouGov, was conducted on 2,075 UK consumers, of which 16 per cent were gym members. It also found those most likely to cancel memberships were 18-34 year-olds. That’s a potential risk for low-cost gyms like The Gym Group and Basic-Fit that are more reliant on a high number of younger members, Barclays said.